Category: Articles

Articles

Heartstrings

SARA BAUME INTERVIEWS DOROTHY CROSS ABOUT HEARTSHIP AND OTHER RECENT ARTWORKS.

In February 1999, the ghost of a small ship appeared in Scotsman’s Bay. It returned every night for three weeks, glowing on into dawn, fading as the hours passed and revealing itself, in daylight, to be a decommissioned lightship called Albatross, which had been covered in phosphorescent paint and moored to the spot. Its protracted presence off the coast of Dún Laoghaire has since become one of the defining works of contemporary Irish art, as well as the stuff of urban folklore.

Twenty years later, on a glittering afternoon … Read the rest

From the Studio of…

AILVE MCCORMACK INTERVIEWS TURNER PRIZE NOMINEE, TAI SHANI, ABOUT THE THEMES IN HER WORK.

I visited Tai Shani in her studio at Gasworks in south London, as she was preparing to send work off to Turner Contemporary, Margate, for the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition.1 Her studio is a bright, light-filled space, ram-packed with objects and creations. Upon entering, I made my way past some giant cardboard pillars. Looking to my right, I noticed some dripping, jewel-like puddles, set out on a table in front of which sat a giant hand, cupping in its palm a tiny 3D-printed face. It’s … Read the rest

Made Marriage

LILY CAHILL INTERVIEWS EIMEAR WALSHE ABOUT A RECENT COMMEMORATIVE PROJECT, COMMISSIONED BY ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL.

Eimear Walshe was awarded The Margaret Cousins Commission by Roscommon County Council, funded through Creative Ireland, to “celebrate and commemorate our extraordinary citizens through exceptional and unexpected visual art projects”1. Margaret (‘Gretta’) Cousins (1878 – 1954), theosophist, nationalist and suffragist, was born in Boyle, County Roscommon. Eimear’s commission resulted in a radio play, I Know Why Women Cry at Weddings, and a supporting publication, Gretta. The publication was launched, along with a live immersive performance of the radio play, in the … Read the rest

Commonplaces: The Topographical Turn

JUSTIN CARVILLE CONSIDERS THE SHIFTING SIGNIFICANCE OF ‘PLACE’ WITHIN 21ST-CENTURY IRISH PHOTOGRAPHY.

The presentation of ‘New Irish Works 2019’ at the Museum of Contemporary Photography – a pop-up space located in Dublin Castle, as part of this year’s PhotoIreland Festival – provides a brief snapshot of the variegated practices of contemporary Irish photography. The diverse projects exhibited in ‘New Irish Works’ range from the personal and the political, to the investigative, formal and conceptual. Phelim Hoey’s ‘La Machine’, for example, explores his diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis through diaries, sculptural forms and motion studies that reference the anatomising and visual abstraction … Read the rest

Culture of Experimental Practice

ALICE BUTLER PROVIDES A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY IRISH MOVING IMAGE PRACTICE.

It is difficult to appreciate the volume and diversity of contemporary practice in artist moving image and experimental film in Ireland without taking stock of its comparatively short history and modest origins. When artists and filmmakers in Europe, the UK and America – such as Germaine Dulac, Len Lye and Maya Deren – began experimenting with new possibilities for cinema as an artform in the early part of the twentieth century, they were also laying the groundwork for the foundation in the 1960s and ‘70s of the cooperatives … Read the rest

Time and Time Again

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS KEVIN ATHERTON, FRANCES HEGARTY AND ANDREW STONES ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR FILMMAKING PRACTICES.

Joanne Laws: How do you approach research and what are some of the prominent themes that have emerged within your moving image practice to date? 

Kevin Atherton: The ‘research’ word has entered the vocabulary of visual artists when they talk about what they do, resulting in a conflation of practice and research, which has led to a lot of posturing and confusion. I hear artists’ talk about doing their research and frequently what they’re referring to is old-fashioned ‘resourcefulness’. As regards my research, … Read the rest

Image Tendencies

PÁDRAIG SPILLANE INTERVIEWS THREE VISUAL ARTISTS WORKING IN PHOTOGRAPHY.

Pádraig Spillane: Each of you maintains what could be described as a ‘hybrid’ practice, engaging with both analogue and digital photographic techniques, while pushing the parameters of image-making and display. Perhaps you could introduce some of your working methods?

Roseanne Lynch: I am living in Leipzig temporarily and making new work with the Bauhaus Foundation, Dessau. Initially this new work was a response to the Bauhaus school building (designed by Walter Gropius and built in 1926), as well as the Buildings and Materials Research Archive. However, the work has progressed. Now, I am … Read the rest

State of the Medium

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON TALKS TO GERARD BYRNE ABOUT CONSERVING MEDIA ART IN THE DIGITAL AGE. 

With a career spanning close to three decades, Gerard Byrne is known for his complex film installations that displace sequential narratives with non-linear playback systems. Byrne’s films often incorporate multiple viewing planes, where episodic reenactments extend across the gallery space, running parallel to one another, encouraging the audience to explore the space, while piecing together the fragmented narrative. A notable example is A thing is a hole is a thing it is not (2010), which charts separate episodes in the history of minimalism, including: a radio … Read the rest

A Geography of Sound

JOANNE LAWS PROFILES SOUND ART AT THE 58TH VENICE ART BIENNALE.

The 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 makes great strides in averting criticism of previous editions by delivering a roughly equal gender balance, while featuring only living artists. This significant gesture is further augmented by a strong representation of younger artists, manifesting slick new media and interdisciplinary practices. Deviating from past iterations, curator Ralph Rugoff has assembled dual exhibitions across the two main spaces – an effective presentation strategy that allows each of the 79 artists to reveal multiple strands of their practice, while creating more memorable dialogue between the … Read the rest

Staged Authenticity

ALAN PHELAN NAVIGATES GENDER IDENTITIES AT THE 2019 VENICE ART BIENNALE.

The biennale opened a week before the Eurovision. In terms of kitsch nationalism and tone-deaf politics, there could not be a better analogy. Difficult national politics can get art-washed – or tourism promotion can have a stronger grip than the art – but this year, these were outweighed by strong feminist voices or, better still, work that had opposing values to the country they were representing or the curatorial theme they were nestled into. The ‘big show’ that tackles the ‘big ideas’ of the day can easily lose out … Read the rest